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Boston Mayor Walsh Names New CDO, First CISO

Stefanie Costa Leabo will lead the Analytics Team, a division within the Department of Innovation and Technology, while Gregory McCarthy takes over as the first chief information security officer, the city announced March 1.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has tapped Stefanie Costa Leabo to serve as chief data officer, while Gregory McCarthy was selected to lead cybersecurity efforts as the city's first chief information security officer.

She will lead the Analytics Team and McCarthy will lead the Cybersecurity Team, both within the Department of Innovation and Technology.

McCarthy joined the Cybersecurity Team in 2010 and worked to raise employee awareness about cyberthreats. Prior to his role in Boston, he served as a research technician for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

“Cybersecurity is something we clearly have to take seriously, and there are always new challenges ahead; a humbling reminder that our work in this field is never done," said McCarthy in the announcement. "It is an honor to be in this position for the City of Boston, and to have the opportunity to lead the City into a new chapter of maturity in how we protect our systems, data, and constituents.” 

Leabo takes the place of Andrew Therriault, who was named the city’s first CDO in 2016 and served until May 2018 when he took a data science manager position at Facebook, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

“Data is critical to the work of the entire city of Boston, not just the Department of Innovation and Technology,” Leabo said in an email. “The Analytics Team has worked with nearly every city department in some way to use data to improve operations or deliver better services to constituents."

“We’re incredibly fortunate that Mayor Walsh and other city leaders view data as a strategic asset and have invested in the Analytics Team to capitalize on opportunities to make government more effective and efficient,” she added.

Leabo joined the Analytics Team in 2015 and has played a role in initiatives like the Imagine Boston 2030 project, a master plan for development as well as a vision for economic development and education. She also worked on Boston’s Vision Zero project, a plan to eliminate vehicle-related deaths. 

“This past year, the Analytics Team has focused heavily on consolidating our data infrastructure and developing sustainable workflows,” the CDO said.

“Looking ahead, we’re really excited to leverage the benefits of that foundation by focusing on data quality and automation, working with our colleagues across the city to build data literacy and growing our data science program,” she added.

The Massachusetts native formerly worked as a senior analyst with the city of Sommerville in the SomerStat office where she also worked with departments to increase their use of data. She also served as a research fellow with the UMass Civic Initiative, a nonprofit charged with furthering public policy education.

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.